I Made Bagels!

This was my first attempt at bagels and I was surprised and pleased with how easy it was and how well they came out.

A few weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep and ended up watching a few episodes of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I hadn’t seen it before, but was curious as one of our local restaurants was featured in an episode. Since I wasn’t impressed with their food, I wasn’t inclined to watch the show until a bout of insomnia. Continue reading

JeffreyW’s Perfect Buns

JeffreyW’s yummy buns.

Last week JeffreyW posted the link to these buns. I was snowed in (looks out window) much like today, so I thought it would be a good day to try out the recipe. I am so glad I did. These really are the best hamburger buns I’ve ever made.

In recent years, I always bake by weight, not volume. It has made all the difference in my breads. I did not make any adaptations for high altitude for this recipe, but I did follow King Arthurs’ advice on water/flour consistency.

I only made two changes – I cut the sugar down to 2 tsp* and increased the salt to 1-1/2 tsp. Other than that, the recipe seems foolproof. I may make again today.

King Arthur Beautiful Burger Buns

  • 3/4 to 1 cup (170g to 227g) lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups (418g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour**
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 -1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • butter or egg white for brushing on the surface
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Continue reading

Instant Pot Pancakes: Light, Fluffy and Fun

Whole instant pot pancakeQuiet weekend here, so I made a half batch

I just found out about a taste treat called Japanese Souffle Pancakes and I was discussing how they would be on my list to make soon. They are a little complicated and I knew I wouldn’t have time this weekend. Then my cousin Scott chimed in and told me about Rice Cooker Pancakes, a simple pancake recipe you make in your rice cooker. They looked amazing.

One problem. I don’t have a rice cooker.

But I do have a Multi-Pot (a type of Instant Pot) and I figured there must be an equivalent recipe. There were several. So I had to try it.

First, the pancakes:

Perfect Pancakes:

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I use buttermilk powder and water)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Opt: blueberries, cinnamon, pecans, bacon

Bowl, whisk

Whisk together dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix until everything is combined. The batter should still be lumpy, you don’t want to overmix. Continue reading

Happy New Year’s Eve: What’s In Store For 2020

This fascinated me – it’s all the planets (RIP Pluto) in their relative rotations all in one planet:

Big plans for 2020. I have the Winter into Spring Cookbook in the works. And a friend and I are going to incorporate my menus and recipes into a Cozy Mystery Series, set in the fictional town of Duxbridge, MA.

Stay tuned….


 

Holiday Gifts: Sesame Brittle

Always a fun treat to find on a cookie tray. These sweet, addictive bites are a breeze to make.

Such a simple recipe. No candy thermometer needed. I used to use oiled wax paper, but oiled parchment works better. The heat of the candy on the wax paper melts it in places. Difficult to peel off.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, parchment, and baking sheet Continue reading

Holiday Gifts: Pecan Cookies

These have several names: Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, or just Pecan Cookie Balls. Whatever you call them, they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Pecan Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts pecans
  • Powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Continue reading

Holiday Gifts: A Variety of Spritz Butter Cookies

In honor of National Cookie Day, my favorite Christmas cookie recipe:

Spritz Cookies

I love spritz butter cookies. They’re tiny little, melt-in-your-mouth bites that go great with a cup of coffee. I didn’t realize how easy they were to make. It helped that a friend of a friend gifted me her all-metal, ratchet handled press. These are not easy to come by any more, at least not when I went looking. Most of the new ones are partially plastic and received tepid reviews, especially for durability and ease of use.

I love all the cute designs. Although my Christmas trees kind of look like trilobites, they taste great.

I have also upped the ante and made zesty butter cookies – one with lime zest and another with lemon zest and dust with citrus powdered sugar. Recipe here.

Spritz Raw

Spritz Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened/room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks, room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Continue reading